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Mediation in addition to legal proceedings

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In mediation, an independent person called a mediator helps people to resolve their conflicts together. You can also choose to start mediation after a case has already started.

When to have mediation

Mediation can help in almost all conflicts, however big or small: employment disputes, problems between neighbours, business disputes, family matters, divorces or conflicts with the government.

There are some conditions for mediation:

  • both sides must be willing to negotiate with each other
  • there is room for negotiation

 

When not to have mediation

There is usually no point in starting mediation in addition to a court case if you:

  • want a clear and public decision about a point of law
  • have already tried to resolve the conflict through mediation and that did not work

 

Why should you choose mediation?

People choose mediation for different reasons:

A fast solution

Mediation usually takes just a few months. It can even solve a problem within weeks or even hours.

Keep a good relationship

In mediation, everyone has the chance to say what they want to say and to talk seriously about the problem. Then everyone works together to find a solution. This helps you to keep a good relationship with the other people who are involved, or to end that relationship in a good way.

Have a say in what happens

In mediation, you and the other people who are involved in the case come together to decide what to write in the agreement.

Resolve the whole conflict

A court case focuses on the legal aspects of a conflict, and it often only looks at the past. In mediation, you work with the other people who are involved in the conflict to find a solution to all aspects of the conflict, both now and in the future.

More than one case at the same time

In mediation, you can deal with multiple cases that involve multiple people at the same time.

Total costs

Mediation can be cheaper than continuing a court case. For example, mediation can deal with more than one legal case at the same time, and a court case may involve extra witnesses or experts.

 

 

Judge as mediator

It is important to find a solution that fits your situation as much as possible, so the judge will look into whether mediation would be useful in your case. If the judge decides that it would be useful, he or she will make a mediation proposal. That proposal could be a written document that you get before the hearing. During the hearing, the judge will work together with everyone who is involved to decide what would be the best solution in this situation: a legal decision, a settlement or mediation. You can also say that you want mediation.

How does mediation work?

If you decide to use mediation during the court case, the mediation officer at the courthouse will help you to organise the mediation.

Costs of mediation

All the people who are involved in the conflict pay for the mediator together.

 

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